The Little Red Dress

I started this dress back in October but didn’t finish it until today.  Sure it’s a simple design but the process of sewing is anything but simple for me for a whole lot of different reasons. (More about that another time)

I purchased this fabric from Fine Fabrics (my favorite fabric spot of the moment).  It is a huge warehouse filled with any and every color and type of fabric that you can imagine. Unfortunately, the fabrics are not labeled and I am not absolutely sure what fabric type this is beyond knit.  I am guessing that it is probably a double knit, possibly a medium weight Ponte?

I purchased this fabric in the color red because it was one of the 2017 fashion trends that I knew that I could wear now and years later without really dating myself.  In my opinion the color red is more of a classic than a trend.

I also knew that I wanted to use Mccall’s 6886 as the base for my design.  My 1st idea was to make another turtleneck dress with bishop sleeves but somehow the turtleneck design didn’t feel quite right for the weight of my chosen fabric. And besides that, I really wanted to do something different, something more along the lines of a cocktail dress that could be worn on a night out with my husband.

Basically, I was stalled over the next two months until two days ago when I decided to go with an off the shoulder neckline.  I really love this look on me because it draws attention to my neck, shoulders and decollete which are slimmer parts of my body.

Although this is usually a quick and easy pattern to sew, this version was not so quick and easy because of the design changes that I made and also because of the weight that I have lost since the last time that I used my altered copy of Mccalls 6886.

Design Alterations

  • Only used the back and sleeve pattern pieces for this dress version
  • Removed 6 inches from the top of the bodice
  • Adjusted sleeve to match modified bodice top
  • Added width to bottom of sleeve by slashing and spreading pattern piece
  • Added 2.5 inch cuff to each finished sleeve to create bishop sleeves
  • Added 1″ deep 5.5 inch long inverted pleat to top of the sleeve for a snugger fit
  • Added 2″ fabric encased elastic about an inch less than the width of my shoulders to the top edge of the bodice
  • Added 2 darts at neckline for better fit
  • Pegged the skirt hemline
  • Added a seam to the back of the dress for a better fit

    Style Details

    I wanted this look to be retro, edgy and cool. To add the cool retro edge I borrowed from a couple of 80’s music videos when choosing my hairstyle and shades.

    I have always loved that model girl from George Micheal’s Father Figure video. She was fierce, powerful, and HOT! I so wanted to be that girl with the dark baby banged bob. Wearing this baby banged bob unit (wig), I got to be this girl for a day.

    No need to even discuss the Aviators that George Micheal wore in his video for Faith. Pairing them with that black leather jacket really added a cool factor that was beyond words.

    To round out my look, I added a long goldtoned chain and my favorite gold toned hoops. 

    Because red and black are made for each other, I slipped on a pair of black fishnet stockings and heels




    The Amazing 2-Piece Dress

    When it comes to wardrobe pieces there is probably nothing better than a dress. They are both easy and practical. No having to decide what to wear on the top or bottom.  Choose your dress, add shoes, accessories, and you are ready to go.

    One of my favorite dress styles is the 2-piece dress which is actually nothing more than a matching top and skirt.

    My latest sewing project is this two piece dress comprised of a matching moss green velvet sweatshirt and pencil skirt. 

    Although these pieces were made for one another, they are strong enough to stand alone.

    This color is really striking in person. My pictures don’t do it justice.

    The Sweat Shirt

    For the Sweatshirt I used It’s always Autumn’s Perfect Slouchy Sweatshirt Pattern found Here.  When conceiving this look, I wanted a slouchy sweater look with dropped shoulders.  After a couple of days of searching through my pattern stash, pattern books, and offerings from online pattern sellers I came up empty handed.

    I can’t remember how I stumbled on Autumn’s site but I was glad that I did.  When I saw her version of the sweatshirt, I knew it would be perfect for creating the look that I had in mind.

    The pdf pattern consists of 2 main pieces (1 front, 1 back). After assembled, both pieces are cut on the fold.  Measurements are given for the neckband, cuffs, and waistband.

    The pattern  went together very easily.  I made two minor modifications to the neckband and cuffs.  I subtracted 2 inches off the suggested cuff height and cut the neckband  27″ x 2″. I made no changes to the waistband.  (Not Shown)

    I really love this pattern and I will be using it again.


    The Pencil Skirt

    The skirt is Erica by Sinclair Patterns.  I purchased it back in July customized to my measurements. With only 2 pattern pieces, (1 front/back, 1 waistband). After the pieces are assembled, they are both cut on the fold. This skirt was a breeze to cut out and put together.

    The instructions for this skirt are very good.  I would highly recommend it for a beginner.

    Because I was able to customize it, the fit is perfect.

      Style Details


    The Little Gray Dress – Another Version of M6886 

    A couple years ago my husband surprised me and the kids with a trip to NYC. It was my family’s second trip there within a 2 year span.

    My family loves NYC.

    On our second trip there I took a solo trip into the Garment District. My initial plan was to  only visit Mood Fabrics but when I did my research I discovered that there were several other Fabric stores in the area.

    The Gray Knit Ponte that I used for this version of McCalls 6886 was purchased in one of those other small NYC fabric shops.  I only purchased 2.5  yards so, I have been holding on to it for the past 2 years waiting for the right project.

    I wanted a simple dress with a voluminous statement sleeve but with my limited yardage I didn’t have enough fabric to make what I had in mind.

    So I decided that instead of making a set in sleeve, I would make the dress sleeveless and add a Statement Sleeve overlay at the shoulder right above the top of the arm opening.

    I love how it turned out. This dress is so comfy that I’m actually lounging in it right now.

    I decided to go with black and gold accessories for this look.

    I have one more version of M6886 planned for later this month. I plan to update my next version with another Fall 2017 trend. 

    Thanks for stopping by. Please come and visit again soon.

    Mccalls 6886 – Review

    Pattern Description: close-fitting pullover dresses with neckline variations

    Pattern Sizing: I sewed a size 14. 

    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? from the shoulders down

    Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t use them

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? #1 Quick & Easy. #2 All the positive reviews and great results on PR made me feel like I was guaranteed to be successful with this one.

    Fabric Used: Honestly I am not sure. I think a textured jersey with shimmer. 

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I removed 2 inches from the back and front waist length. I used the pivot and slide method to add 4 inches at the hip. I added a turtleneck. I added two inches to each sleeve. I decided to do a raw finish on the edges.

    Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. This is actually my 2nd time sewing 6886. I already have a second version cut out and a 3rd one planned.

    M6886 – Date Night Look
    M6886 – Casual Look

    Wardrobe Goals


    I am in the process of building myself a better wardrobe.

    By carefully considering the pieces that I loved the most,  I was able to come up with a personal checklist that makes it easier for me to choose which pieces I woud keep, sew, or purchase in the future.

    Over the past couple of months, I have been ruthlessly overhauling my wardrobe. Any clothes, shoes, accessories, fabrics, or patterns that don’t follow my personal checklist no longer have a place in my life.

    My Personal Wardrobe Checklist

    • Flexible, Versatile & Practical – can be worn in different settings or seasons.
    • Fashionable – Classic pieces with a modern and/or bold twist
    • Custom fit to my body, my lifestyle & my unique personality
    • Flattering to my body shape
    • Effortless and Easy – Reaching into my closet and always pulling out a winner.

    A perfect example of an outfit that encompasses each of these elements is today’s feature outfit.

    I love this classic self made half circle midi skirt.I designed especially for my bodyshape. I opted to add facings instead of a waistband because it visually lengthens my short torso.

    My fabric choice adds the dramatic and modern touch that I love.

    This skirt is so versatile. It’s midi length is wearable in just about any setting.  It can easily and effortlessly go from day to night just by changing out the top,  shoes and accessories.

    Here I’ve  paired it with a flirty pair of heeled sandals and a black off the shoulder bodysuit (which is actually a swimsuit that I purchased from Amazon), perfect for date night.


    McCalls 6102 – Review

    Pattern Description:  Made for you. Petite- able 1 hour Aline shift dress.
    Pattern Sizing: I made view c in a size 14 , D Cup. I’m a solid girl with a medium sized frame. It fit me great.
    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes ..but I think this dress looks better sewn up than it does in the illustration.

    Were the instructions easy to follow? I actually followed a Threads You Tube Video for installing all In one facings…it seemed much easier to follow than the printed instructions.

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved that there are only 4 pieces and that I had the option to pick my cup size. These factors make this pattern a winner for me.

    Fabric Used: African Wax Print that I purchased from Ghana.

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: My usual short waist adjustment.

    Would you sew it again? This pattern is one that I intend to use again and again. It fits great.  The style works well with my body shape. The style is simple and can easily be altered for different looks.

    Would you recommend it to others? I highly recommend this pattern if you like this style of dress.

    Style Details:

    Catching Up – New Look 6507

    New Look 6507

    It seems like its been ages since I last posted.  My life has been crazy busy.  Since I last posted, I’ve gone back to work outside the home full-time.  I’ve been too busy to post here but not too busy to sew.

    I hope to  eventually post all of the projects that I haven’t had a chance to put on the blog but for now, I will post my latest project.

    June is Scleroderma awareness month and Teal is the color that represents this cause.  This cause is close to my heart because, my mother had this disease.  It was my goal to sew at least 4 pieces featuring the color Teal.

    This is outfit #2.  I chose this dark Teal Rayon fabric because I loved the weight  and  touch of the fabric.  It is really soft and drapes beautifully.

    Pattern Description: Off the Shoulder Dress or Top

    Pattern Sizing: I sewed a medium (12/14)

    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I loved that it only has 4 main pieces. I love the simple style.

    Fabric Used: Rayon Poly with stretch

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made – I did my usual adjustment for my short waist.  I serged my hemline to preserve length. I didn’t have enough fabric to add lengthen it. I serged the flounces to match the skirt hemline.

    Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it?  I don’t think that I need another off the shoulder dress but I would highly recommend this pattern if you are looking to make something quick , easy, and super cute.